Instead of focusing my resolutions on physical appearance and finding love, in 2016...
1. I will not be ashamed to do what my body needs to stay healthy and happy.
Whether it be dietary, sexual, medical, career, attire-related or otherwise, this year I will do what my body needs so I can be as healthy and as happy as I can be, not what it needs to look a certain way or be "acceptable." If I mess up a few times, then I won't let that tarnish my self-worth.
2. I will not judge what the women around me choose to do to keep their bodies healthy and happy.
Just like I don't want to be judged for my choices, I won't let my opinions about a woman be ruled by the fact that she dresses differently than I would, that she is more or less sexual than I, that she has chosen a different path in life than I have, or what is and isn't on her plate.
3. As I speak out about feminism, I will remember that white, middle-class, straight cis women aren't the only people whose voices must be heard.
I will listen and promote the perspectives of women of color, lower-class and LBGTQ+ and not be blind to white feminism, even from feminist icons.
4. I will stop feeling selfish when I put myself first.
I will not let anything make me feel guilty on the days when my needs come first. I will always want to help my loved ones, but I won't be very good at that if my own needs aren't being met.
5. I will stop apologizing for taking up my own space, asking a question, expressing an opinion or having a need.
I will stop starting every question, request for help or vocalization of my thoughts with "I'm sorry, but..." People take up room, people need to ask questions, people have opinions and people have needs. Unless I have wronged someone, I will stop apologizing for being a person.
6. I will stop using characteristically female terms as insults.
I will stop saying that someone throws "like a girl" to hurt someone, calling men "b*tches" or "p*ssies" as a dig and telling someone to "grow a pair." I will remember that this quietly says that femininity is insulting.
7. I will celebrate the beauty of older women.
The body positivity thing doesn't stop when you reach a certain age. There is still an unattainable double standard for older men and women. Men are either distinguished or given a pass because they're older, while women are expected to obtain the same beauty standards their whole life. I will not let sexist agism prevent me from seeing the beauty of natural aging in gorgeous older women.
8. I will see how many times I can greet females without the first thing I say being about their appearance or what they're wearing.
Compliments feel good, but I'll try and be creative and focus on the positive things that have nothing to do with their looks. You know, the stuff that actually matters.
9. I will read more books, watch more movies and listen to more music by women, people of color, those who aren't straight and those from different religions, backgrounds or countries.
This year, I will help prove that diversity sells by seeking out the work of those that most need representation.
10. I won't shame women who break gender norms nor will I shame women who don't.
This year, I will contribute to the end of gender roles, so I won't validate stereotypes by using them as a lens through which to examine women. I will applaud any woman who choose their own path whether is is typically feminine, veering from traditions or somewhere in between.
11. I will not change who I am for a guy (or girl or anyone).
I won't play dumb, I won't laugh at jokes that aren't funny, I won't play weak or scared and I won't pretend to be interested in all the same things. I will eat in front of my date if I'm hungry, I'll wear makeup if I feel like it and won't if I don't! I won't hide who I truly am to seem suitable.
12. I will vote.
I will remember the feminists before me who dedicated their lives to get me my right to vote, and I will be at the polls for every election for candidates who actively respect and support women of all classes, races, sexualities and assigned genders at birth. I will encourage others to do the same.